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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Tennis Picks 2016 (July 12th)

The Andy Murray story dominated the headlines on Monday in the United Kingdom, which really isn't a big surprise, but the five tennis tournaments being played this week all got underway on that day.

The First Round matches were played alongside some Qualifiers on Monday, but on Tuesday the rest of that Round will be completed which means there are plenty of matches being scheduled throughout the various tournaments.

On Monday the two picks made both came in as winners, but there are likely to be plenty of matches to get through to earn a winning record for the week including the Davis Cup ties that will begin on Friday to make this a loaded week. Next week will be even busier with seven different tournaments being played which will likely mean Wimbledon is quickly left in the rear view mirror.

Fernando Verdasco - 4.5 games v Henri Laaksonen: The tournament in Bastad had been dominated by Spanish players between 2005 and 2012 with six of eight winners coming from that nation. 2012 was the last time a Spanish player won the title here and Fernando Verdasco will be hoping to change that trend although he is not the player of yesteryear.

Verdasco hasn't won the title here before and has dropped to Number 59 in the World Rankings but he did win the title in Bucharest and this isn't the most intimidating of fields. However it does have to be said that Verdasco is much more likely to throw in a stinker these days and he will have to have one of those days if Henri Laaksonen wants to record what could be the best win of his career.

He played in the Challenger event in Bastad last week so might be more familiar with the conditions, although Laaksonen has had some disappointing losses in recent weeks. Laaksonen played well in a Davis Cup defeat to Andreas Seppi on the clay courts, but he will be under pressure by the weight of shot that Verdasco has, although the latter has to control the unforced errors which bring opponents back into matches.

If Verdasco is able to control those errors, I think a good serving day will give him every chance to progress to the Second Round with a 64, 63 win.

Carl Soderlund - 4.5 games v Fred Simonsson: Two young Swedish players at their current high in World Rankings will get to meet on the main court in Bastad in their First Round encounter. Carl Soderlund is the younger of the two and is lower Ranked, but Fred Simonsson has had a little more experience at a higher level which has made that difference in their World Rankings.

This will actually be the third time Soderlund and Simonsson will be playing one another over the last few months with the younger player having won the last two matches. Both of those have come in straight sets and I think he might have the mental edge at a time when these players are trying to move up into the pro Tour.

For Soderlund, the future is heading to American Colleges to take on some of the better players of his age later in the year. He had a strong run to the Semi Final in the Bastad Challenger last week during which he beat a solid veteran like Daniel Gimeno Traver and Soderlund has won a clay title at the Futures level.

At 21 years old, Fred Simonsson has at least tried to qualify for a couple of main Tour events, although he has yet to be successful doing that.

This time they have both earned a Wild Card into the Bastad main draw and I do think Soderlund has the mental edge which can be vital in this First Round encounter. It is a big number of games for Soderlund to cover, but I think he can do that at odds against and win this one 63, 64.

Timea Bacsinszky - 5.5 games v Sara Sorribes Tormo: The home favourite and Number 1 Seeded Timea Bacsinszky begins her tournament in Gstaad on Tuesday and she is taking on a young Qualifier from Spain. Sara Sorribes Tormo has only dropped seven games in the Qualifiers, but this is a big step up for the youngster against an opponent like Bacsinszky who has reached the French Open Semi Final just last year.

She was a Quarter Finalist at the French Open this year and has won a title on the clay in 2016, while Bacsinszky is one of the tougher defensive players which can be tough for a younger, inexperienced player to deal with.

Sorribes Tormo has won a title on the clay at the lesser level, but her last two experiences at this kind of level have been tough to take. Both Sam Stosur and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat the Spaniard comfortably at the Madrid Masters and the French Open and someone like Bacsinszky is arguably better than both of those players on the clay.

This might be closer than those matches ended up being, but the home support and looking to do well here gives Bacsinszky the clear motivation edge. As well as Sorribes Tormo has played in the Qualifiers, this is a huge step up in class and I think Bacsinszky will wear her down in a 64, 62 win.

Julia Goerges - 2.5 games v Jana Cepelova: Wimbledon proved to be a very good tournament for Jana Cepelova who stunned Garbine Muguruza on her way through to the Third Round. That came after coming through Qualifiers and Cepelova is a better player on the clay courts than she is on the grass.

However she is up against a player in Julia Goerges who is a very able performer on the clay and who can perhaps blame extremely tough draws which has prevented her getting some wins under her belt over the last six weeks. She did reach the Semi Final in Nuremberg earlier this season, but generally it hasn't been a great season for the German although the performances in recent defeats were encouraging.

The big keys for Goerges is to make sure she serves well and puts a lid on her unforced errors. Of course that is one of the reasons Goerges has struggled to find the consistency in her game as she can see games race away through a number of errors, but I expect the German to have some success attacking the Cepelova serve.

Attacking the serve has paid dividends for Goerges in their two previous matches and she has won plenty of points against the serve. I think she is the better player in this one and I will back Goerges to snap her three match losing run with a 75, 64 win in this one.

Jordan Thompson - 2.5 games v John-Patrick Smith: For Jordan Thompson and John-Patrick Smith, tournaments like this can provide valuable World Ranking points to improve their positioning. Thompson is now inside the top 100, but Smith is closer to falling out of the top 200 and both players will be desperate to win this match.

It was Thompson who came through when these players met in a Challenger event on the grass in Surbiton, although that was a close three setter. Neither player actually had a strong showing on the grass this past month, although Smith did reach the Semi Final here in Newport in 2015.

That might give him a slight edge in the match as Thompson is playing here for the first time, but Smith's confidence might not be as strong as it was coming in last season. Smith had won some matches before Newport, but he has not been able to repeat that in 2016 and I think Thompson will be able to frank his victory over Smith from Surbiton.

Thompson had more joy out of his serve once he got his rhythm after being blown away in the first set. He should be more comfortable with what Smith is going to give him this time around and I like Thompson to win this one 76, 64.

MY PICKS: Fernando Verdasco - 4.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet365 (2 Units)
Carl Soderlund - 4.5 Games @ 2.20 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)
Timea Bacsinszky - 5.5 Games @ 1.91 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Julia Goerges - 2.5 Games @ 1.83 Bet365 (2 Units)
Jordan Thompson - 2.5 Games @ 2.00 Bet Fred (2 Units)

Weekly Update: 2-0, + 3.28 Units (4 Units Staked, + 82% Yield)

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